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NBA Today

February 18, 2006

No games scheduled. The NBA All-Star game is Sunday.

STAR

Friday

_Andre Iguodala, 76ers, scored 30 points as the Sophomores beat the Rookies 106-96 in the Rookie Challenge.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Charlie Villanueva scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Rookies’ 106-96 loss to the Sophomores in the Rookie Challenge.

FINALISTS

Charles Barkley and Dominique Wilkins were among the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Other finalists included Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. To earn enshrinement, a finalist must receive at least 18 votes from the 24-member Honors Committee. The Class of 2006 will be announced April 3 at the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in Indianapolis.

CHOSEN

Gilbert Arenas was chosen to replace the Phoenix’s Raja Bell in the 3-point contest, the NBA announced Friday. The league said Bell was excused because of a family illness. Saturday’s 3-point contest also includes Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, Quentin Richardson and Jason Terry. Arenas is shooting 34 percent from behind the arc this season.

SPEAKING

``People who know basketball, in the basketball world, understand what my place is in basketball history. And I’m confident things will be fine this go-round. Do I think I was a first-ballot? Of course. Hopefully things will work out this time.″ _ Atlanta Hawks’ great and vice president of basketball Dominique Wilkins after being selected as a Hall of Fame finalist.

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